Kids are proud to show off their poop—but most adults rarely glance inside the toilet bowl. But the truth is...Examining your poop is one of the best ways to find out what's really going on in your body. So take this quick quiz to get the inside scoop on your poop!
Question #1: How long does it take you to have a bowel movement?
[ ]Less than 60 seconds [ ]More than two minutes
Answer: Healthy bowel movements happen within 60 seconds of sitting on the toilet. The stool should easily come out without straining, grunting or any discomfort. It should have the consistency of toothpaste. If you have time to read a newspaper while sitting on the toilet—you probably have a problem with constipation or poor bowel health.
Question #2: What is the shape of your stool?
[ ]Long like a banana [ ]round, hard pellets [ ]thin, pencil-shaped
Answer: Healthy stool averages about four to six inches long and are shaped like a banana or a torpedo. Very narrow, pencil-shaped stool is a sign your colon walls are impacted or you have polyps or growths on the inside of your colon or rectum. This causes the stool to squeeze to get through. Stress can also create narrow stool.
Hard, round or pellet-shaped stool is a possible sign of poor liver function, lack of exercise, dehydration or constipation.
Question #3: Is your stool accompanied by foul odor?
[ ]Yes [ ]No
Answer: Gas or odor is a sign of a bacterial imbalance in your intestinal flora. The "bad" bacteria release foul-smelling gases and toxins that can cramp your colon and create embarrassing odors. You can eliminate this odor by removing debris and encrusted feces from the walls of your intestines and restoring the balance in your intestinal flora.
According to Mayo Clinic research, all shades of brown and even green are considered normal stool colors. And the foods you eat can affect the color of your stool. For example, beets, tomato juice, blueberries, popsicles and green leafy vegetables can affect your stool color. However, a distinct change in stool color can be a warning sign for health problems.
Yellow-colored stool indicates your food is moving too quickly through your digestive tract—as in the case of diarrhea. If stool is greasy or foul-smelling, it may indicate excess fat caused by malabsorption of nutrients. Green-colored stool means your food isn't properly being processed through your intestines. As a result, bile isn't broken down—and gives your stool that green color. Green stool can also mean you're eating too much sugar, fruits and vegetables and not enough grains or salt.
Gray or ashy colored stool indicates undigested fats or heavy use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs that contain aluminum hydroxide. It can also indicate a lack of bile in the stool that may be caused by a bile duct obstruction.
Black stool is a serious warning sign for bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract—possibly the stomach.
Bright red stool may indicate bleeding in the lower intestinal tract—possibly the large intestine or rectum. Hemorrhoids may also be the source of the bleeding.
Question #5: Do you pass gas while you're having a bowel movement or have you noticed air or bubbles in your stool?
[ ]Yes [ ]No
Answer: Air or bubbles in stool can indicate an intestinal imbalance. Gas producing bacteria may be overgrowing and competing with the healthier flora in your gut.
Please know this: A normal bowel movement happens within 60 seconds of sitting on the toilet. There should be no straining, pain, bleeding or foul odor accompanied with your bowel movements. And wiping afterwards should be easy and simple—using just one or two pieces of toilet paper!
If that's not your experience in the bathroom—then you need to give your intestines a thorough internal cleaning!
When your colon is in danger—it will do anything and everything to send out an S.O.S. for health! If you notice strong body odor—especially under your arm pits......Or if your friends shy away and frequently offer you breath mints—LISTEN to your colon—it's screaming for help!